Can Landlord Paint House While Occupied? Answered

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Painting can tear and wear over time, the color of the walls starts to fade, and cracks appear. If you live in a rental, you need to ask your landlord before painting the walls, and it’s the same case for the landlord, but it can differ under certain conditions.

Can a Landlord Paint My Apartment While I Am Still Occupying It?

Yes, the landlord can paint the apartment while you are still occupying it, but under certain conditions, for example:

  • They can paint the apartment while you are still in it if there is a lead-based painting or other safety reasons; however, they have to paint according to your schedule and provide a legit reason. 
  • The landlord can not access your apartment unless there’s an emergency, and since painting is not an emergency, they need to request your permission to enter the apartment. In some cases, the painting can be considered an issue if the painting is affecting your health. 
  • Home renovations can be all done when you move from the apartment, so you can refuse that the landlord performs them while you are still occupying the apartment. 

Can a Landlord Charge You For Painting?

No, the landlord can’t charge you for painting because if the landlord decides to paint the apartment while you are occupying it, it’s his responsibility to pay for it. You do not have to pay for the painting of the apartment unless you are the one who damaged it. In addition, the landlord shouldn’t add the cost of the paint to your lease when you are leaving. 

Painting can get old over time and start to look bad; the repainting should be your decision because you are the one living in the apartment. The landlord can repaint it after you move, and if he wants you to paint while you are occupying it, he should ask for your permission, pay the cost, and work according to your schedule.

Can a Landlord Deduct the Painting Cost from Your Security Deposit? 

No, the landlord can’t deduct the painting cost from your security deposit as long as it’s normal wear and tear; if you accidentally damaged the painting, the landlord could then deduct the painting cost from your security deposit.

You have to be careful when moving out because some landlords try to deduct any repairs they have done while occupying the apartment from your security deposit. However, you should know that they don’t have the right to deduct any amount from your deposit unless you do the damage. 

Some people paint the apartment before they move out to avoid conflicts with the landlords about who did the damage to the painting. However, the painting generally wears and tears over time, so it’s preferred to paint the apartment when you leave so the landlord doesn’t charge you for a huge amount of money regarding the painting damage. 

Can I Paint My Apartment As Long as I Paint It Back?

Yes, you can paint your apartment as long as you paint it back; you need to talk to your landlord to know the original painting’s quality and name so you can paint the apartment back and leave it as it was before you painted it. Landlords have no problems with your painting as long as you paint it back.

Because this, in the end, is for their benefit, you would paint the apartment and give it a fresh look before you move out, which decreases the costs on the landlord because they need to repaint the apartment after you leave to give it a fresh and good look so they can rent it again.

How Much Does it Cost to Paint Your Apartment?

To calculate how much it costs to paint your apartment, you have to consider some factors such as the area of the apartment, the quality of the paint, and if there are any repairs. 

  • The Quality of The Painting
    The quality of the painting differs and can increase the cost by a huge amount, the high-quality paints dry faster and coat in fewer layers, but they cost more than normal paints, which dry slower and require more layers.
  • The Area of The Apartment
    You have to measure the area of your apartment before painting to know the cost of the painting; large apartments mean more walls will need to be painted, therefore more cost. Meanwhile, small apartments have fewer walls, saving painting and lowering the cost.
  • Required Repairs
    You would need to repair any holes or damage in your walls before painting walls, so this can be added to the cost of painting because you can’t paint your walls without repairing your walls.

The average cost per foot for painting an apartment is between 1.5$ and 3.5$ per foot, so for example, if you live in 1000 foot apartment, you can expect the cost to be around 1500$ – 3500$; however, if you choose to paint the apartment yourself, you can lower the cost. The mentioned prices are the prices of professionals, so you can choose whether to do it yourself or hire a professional. 

Is Worth it to Paint a Rental?

Yes, when you are living in the apartment for a long time, you should consider painting once in a while because painting can help discover issues that need to be fixed, and it can give your apartment a great look. Therefore, you should calculate how much the painting will cost; if the cost isn’t too high, you should go for it.

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How To Match Your Rental Painting? 

To match your rental painting, you have to go to the hardware store and buy some color samples that are close to the color of your walls; you can also buy small containers to test the painting and see if it matches the one of your rental apartment. 

Grab a small brush, paint a small area on your wall, and wait for the area to dry. After the area dries, you can determine whether the painting matches your wall or not. If you can find the matching color yourself, you can take a picture of your wall and ask for help in the hardware store. 

How Long Does Paint Last In Rental Apartments? 

Normal painting usually should be repainted every two to three years; meanwhile, high-quality painting can last for a longer lifespan. Therefore, if you don’t want to paint every two years, you should use a high-quality painting, but you should know they cost more than normal painting. 

When you have lived in an apartment for a long time, you can see the colors of your walls start to fade, and the walls start to crack, so if preferred, you paint your walls to give your apartment a better look even if you are living in a rental.

Landlords expect the paint life cycle to last from two to three years, they may want to paint the apartment while you are still occupying it, but they have to request your permission.

Should I Ask My Landlord Before Painting the Apartment?

Yes, you should ask your landlord before painting the apartment; the landlord would want to know if you are using a professional or if you are painting the apartment yourself. The landlord could also determine what colors you should use and which are not acceptable. 

You should be asking for the landlord’s permission through writing to protect yourself from any future issues; you should determine your desires in writing. 

Does Landlord Have To Paint After Each Tenant?

No, the landlord doesn’t have to paint the apartment after each tenant unless the law says it; in some areas, the landlords paint the apartment to easily market and rent it. If the new tenant has no problems with the walls painted, the landlord can rent the apartment and sign the lease with no need to paint the walls.

The worn or torn painting is not considered a habitability issue because it doesn’t affect the health of the tenant; however, if the painting is lead-based, peeling, or chipping, it’s considered a habitability issue, and the landlord has to paint the apartment before a new tenant moves in.

In rent-controlled areas, landlords need to paint their rental properties after a certain time; for example, in New York City, the landlord has to paint the apartment every three years; meanwhile, in West Hollywood, the landlord has to paint the apartment every four years.

Do You Have To Paint The Walls You Painted Before You Move?

Yes, you should paint the walls you have painted while renting before you move out unless you have an agreement with your landlord. Landlords can allow you to paint the apartment without repaint; this could happen to you when agreeing with the landlord on what colors you can use and what areas you can paint.

If there is no agreement between you and the landlord on the colors you used or the areas you have painted, you should ask the landlord for the painting quality and brand they used to paint the apartment before; this, you can paint the apartment back like it was before.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Need Permission To Paint If You Are a Tenant?

Yes, you need permission to paint the apartment if you are a tenant unless it is mentioned in your lease that you have the right to paint the apartment without requesting permission from the landlord. If you choose to paint the apartment without permission, this could put you in trouble.

Your lease could be broken because you didn’t stick to the contract terms; it can also cost you money if the landlord wants you to repaint the apartment back. Therefore, it’s recommended to ask the landlord for permission before painting the apartment to avoid any problems in the future.

Do Landlords Let You Paint if You are a Tenant?

Yes, many landlords permit the tenants to paint the apartment; however, the landlord could determine what colors you can paint; the painting should not cover any trims or woods. The landlord would ask for certain colors because some colors are hard to paint over, which will cost the landlord more if you moved out and he wants to repaint the apartment.

Therefore, you should choose light and neutral shades when painting to make it easier for him to cover them later if he decides to do so. In addition, don’t paint any surfaces that the landlord told you shouldn’t be painted as it can break your lease.

Conclusion

To sum up, the landlord can paint the apartment while you are still occupying it but under certain conditions. For example, they can paint the apartment while you are still in it if there is a lead-based painting or other safety reasons; however, they have to paint according to your schedule and provide a legit reason. 

The landlord can not access your apartment unless there’s an emergency, and since painting is not an emergency, they need to request your permission to enter the apartment. In some cases, the painting can be considered an issue if the painting is affecting your health.

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